Devotional Day 23 – Licked by the Lord

1 Kings 18:36-40: Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt-offering, the wood, the stones, and the dust, and even licked up the water that was in the trench.

Devotion:  One person can stand against thousands of God’s enemies when they stand with the Lord.  One man can change the course of human events when he acts upon his conviction that God is on a mission to change the world.[1]  One woman can make a positive difference in the work of God for the world when she obeys God Almighty![2]  Who can stand against the People of God when they stand with the Lord?

Large crowds assembled in churches, auditoriums, stadiums, fairgrounds, etc. do not impress or impede our God.  Our Father is not swayed by mass protests, grassroots petitions, political campaigns, or public opinion.  God is engaged in unwavering mission to draw all people to Christ through the Cross.  God is searching for men, women and children to join Christ’s work in the world, even if it is one, a dozen or a few hundred; like Gideon and the valiant three hundred who lapped up the water like dogs.[3]

The prophet Elijah – after bemoaning that he was the only prophet of God left in the world – changed his behavior when God told him: the Lord plus one person is enough of an army to defeat the 800 prophets of Queen Jezebel.  At the time of the obligated offering – the evening bloody sacrifice for the atonement of sin – Elijah called out to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, which reminded the people that individuals can stand victoriously against the nations for the Lord.  Then, miraculously, every part of the holocaust offering was consumed when the Spirit of God fell upon the sacrifice in the image of an all consuming fire.  It was not a lightening strike.  God incinerated the wood, stones, dust, and “licked up the water in the trenches” without setting ablaze the limberland dried-out by the draught.  God gave the enemies of Heaven a licking when one man challenged, chastised, and conquered the priests of Baal (the false god of Thunder or Rain).

O, Saints of God, do not feel weak, worthless, or alone when the world assaults you.  Do not bemoan your humble estate when you sit in the congregation of the few.  Do not consider yourself defeated when overwhelmed by enemies or outnumber by false priests. Rejoice!  One person can stand against thousands when they stand with the Lord!

Prayer: God our Father, you defeated your enemies through one man’s sacrificial obedience on the Cross of Calvary.  Give to us the Spirit of Jesus that we might stand with you in this world. Amen. 

Prayer Exercise:  “Tongsung Kido,” page 204, in Patricia D. Brown, “Paths to Prayer: Finding Your Own Way to the Presence of God,” (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003). ISBN: 0-779-6565-0. Copyright © 2003 by Patricia D. Brown.  All rights reserved.  

[1] See Moses in Exodus

[2] See Rahab in Joshua 2

[3] Judges 7:7

About Dr. Ivan E. Greuter

A native of Nebraska, Ivan accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior and experienced a call to the ministry at a young age. He graduated from Kearney Senior High before attending Ottawa University (Kansas) where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He attended Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, IL to earn a Master of Divinity in Pastoral Care and Counseling (1999) and a Master of Arts in Philosophical Theology (2002). In 2014, Ivan earned a Doctor of Ministry in Missional Spirituality from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. His dissertation: “Searching For God When You Have Lost Your Dogma: The Promise of New Life for an American Baptist Congregation by Increasing Passionate Spirituality through Devotional Consideration of the Doctrine of the Trinity and Natural Church Development.” He served as the senior minister at First Baptist Church of Wood River, Illinois (1999-2006), and Central Baptist Church of Quincy, Illinois (2006-2016) prior to joining the staff at West Side Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. Ivan enjoys French cooking, fly fishing, gardening, and playing games with family and friends. Ivan and his wife, Rexanne, live in Topeka with their three children – two daughters and a son.
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